When PaddyPower adverts were good

This is my last word on PaddyPower – unless they bring out some more dog-whistling adverts – and I’m ending on a positive note.

You see, it is possible to make memorable, funny and not shit adverts based around betting. It was proven by none other than PaddyPower just a short three years ago, with a series of ads highlighting a money-back guarantee.

These are truly superb ads, genuinely funny and brilliantly observed. In the three below Carlton Palmer, Des Walker and Bruce Grobbelaar play it dead straight and all are afforded amusing lines, impeccably delivered totally deadpan (or, alternatively, all of them are so wooden they appear deadpan).

They aren’t ironic and the reactions to all three sudden appearances by 80s and 90s footie stars – of total terror and bewilderment – make them both unsettling and wonderfully funny.

But there’s more again. Grobbelaar’s wobbly legs trademark, Palmer’s sudden appearance below the water of a bath and Walker’s surreal appearance, as if half centre back, half football shirt are very weird, which feels completely right for where these ads are.

Throw in the third-person dialogue – “you and Carlton Palmer having a bath”; “put whisk down, Grobbelaar’s here in peace”; “Desmond Sinclair Walker, 657 appearances, one goal” – and you have a trio of very funny ads.

Good work by agency Karmarama, who don’t have the Paddy Power brief anymore. Which is a shame, as there’s genuine wit in the ads. Still, probably easier to poke fun at trannies and chavs eh?